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Friday, March 2, 2012

Quotes of C.F.W. Walther on Doctrine of Justification (Part 4)

See previous Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
In the previous Part 3, Walther makes it crystal clear what Faith Is Not... it does not appease God and make Him forgive our sins.  But what then is Faith?

Faith is:
page 76: But faith is the hand which makes salvation one’s own.
page 77: However, faith is necessary in regard to fruit and acceptance. (Calov quote)
page 105-106: One can see the doctrine of justification correctly only when one considers faith as merely the hand with which one appropriates the offered justification.  The old fathers spoke of two means for the attainment of justification, the giving means, namely Word and sacrament, and the receiving means , namely faith.  If a means for giving is present, then the gift must already be at hand.  Thus it is also with justification.  It is already there.  The question is only how God desires to give it.
page 107: So also faith is nothing but the raised hand which man extends to take what God unconditionally offers, presents and seals to him.
Heerbrand continues: “It is the way and means of accepting the benefit that is offered and given to us through and for Christ’s sake; and so it is the tool or, as it were, the hand that accepts and appropriates Christ and His gracious gifts offered in the Gospel.  When alms are offered to a beggar and he takes them with his hand, the hand is not called the condition, but the means or instrument with which the gift is taken.”
page 108: Consequently faith is the intrument, or as it were the hand, with which we grasp what God offers in His promises  If we wish to make very clear to people how faith is related to justification, these two expressions are best suited to achieve this.  It is very necessary that one understand this point clearly; only then will we teach justification perperly.  As much as all Christian groups speak of faith, only a minority have a correct conception of faith and how it justifies.  . ... But, faith is only an accepting; that it changes people is only its fruit.  Whenever one accepts, fruits will follow -- such as a different will, a different understanding.  Yes, a person is now a new creature.
page 109: Faith is not itself a work, but only an instrument.
Faith -justified apart from: 
page 79: They have already been given us, are always available for our benefit, even though we do not have faith.
page 109: If justification depended on the perfection of our faith, then we would all be lost.
Faith - Believe:
page 75: Only believe that Christ, the Son of God, has done all this in your stead...
page 81: But when a person has been shattered by the Law and is penitent, they should direct him to Christ and say: “Only believe!  As soon as you believe, you have all the blessings of Christ.  You are already redeemed;...
page 85: We preach about faith because in this way Christ is proclaimed.
page 111: We therefore hold fast to what Scripture says: “This is the work of God, that you believe...” (John 6:29)
Good works:
page 76-77: To this sectarians and enthusiasts respond: “You suggest therefore that good works are unnecessary?”  Our reply: “Good works are indeed to be done; but not to reconcile God, not to redeem oneself, not to earn forgiveness of sins and become God’s child; rather, in gratitude to Christ and God for the redemption we have received.  After all, what I do in order to receive a reward is not really a good work at all.”
page 74: The doctrine of the universal grace of God appears to be in contradiction with reality.
Dear reader, these quotes show the Missouri Synod from above...  the true Christian teaching!
In the next post Part 5, Walther addresses one of the hottest topics of his day - the doctrine of Election.

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